Big Books & Bold Ideas with Kerri Miller

The generational divide at work

Brad Karsh
Brad Karsh of JB Training Solutions speaking to a group of generation X'ers at the Hu-Friedy Manufacturing Co. in Chicago. There's a new urgency to the quest for workplace harmony, as baby boomers delay retirement and work side-by-side with people young enough to be their children — or grandchildren.
M. Spencer Green | AP 2013

Today’s workforce spans five generations — from the Silent or Greatest Generation, in their 70s and 80s, to Gen Z, just entering their 20s — for the first time in history. And the way each generation views basic workplace values differs greatly.

Some believe that millennials and their younger cohorts will force a better work-life balance, since they expect and demand more flexibility. But boomers feel disrespected, and say the younger generation doesn’t value hard work – or their experience.

Wednesday, Kerri Miller spoke with two experts about the generational divide — and they took your questions about how millennials and boomers can work together, for the benefit of all.


  • Karla Miller is the work advice columnist at The Washington Post.

  • Phyllis Moen is a chair and professor of sociology at the University of Minnesota. She studies occupational careers, gender, families and well-being. Her new book on work, “Overload,” comes out in March.